by Deena Kamel
NMC Health Plc, based in Abu Dhabi, is close to tapping the bond market to finance acquisitions and diversify its sources of funding as it seeks to expand across key Persian Gulf markets.
The London-listed healthcare provider is planning to grow in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar, where it’s focusing on the fertility segment, Chief Executive Officer Prasanth Manghat said in an interview. The size of the acquisition would determine the amount of debt raised.
“We’d be looking at fixed income, a sukuk or bond,” said Manghat, who was promoted to CEO this month. “A bond is definitely very close on the cards. But at the end of the day, it’s all driven by what price you get it.”
Earlier this month NMC Health announced plans to acquire United Arab Emirates-based Al Zahra Hospital, a private facility operating 137 active inpatient beds, serving approximately 400,000 outpatients and 23,000 inpatient bed days per year. NMC is also “on the verge” of acquiring Atlas Hospital in Oman and is exploring opportunities for a fertility clinic in Saudi Arabia, Manghat said.
Manghat said his main priorities are to integrate Al Zahra Hospital’s operations within NMC’s network, focus on health-tech trends and become a “very strong player” in the the GCC.